Peering into the MBA classroom is good preparation for MBA admissions

A week or so I blogged about Harvard case method and included the HBS promotional video featuring the case method. Here’s another one, this time from Darden (University of Virginia Business School).

The video “Highlights of a Darden Case Study Class” is here:

First, this shows how widespread the case method is in b-schools. In my experience, applicants think they must show their identification with the case method for Harvard, but tend to overlook it for all their other applications. For HBS it comes across as formula, unless you add a unique perspective. And there’s certainly no harm in mentioning it other places, particularly where a school has publicly featured it in their promotions.

The broader value in watching videos like this – and this blog will feature more of them over time – is they are absolutely valuable (and free!) insights into what goes on in a b-school classroom. This gives a good idea of the kind of applicant MBA Adcoms are looking for. Particularly note how much the emphasis is on discussion, communication, questioning, argument, thinking. Most of business school is not about absorbing facts or calculating answers.

FT reports on Anderson’s audio essay experience

FT.com / Business education – A word in your ear this week reports: “At the Anderson school at UCLA, applicants this year were asked to submit their essays in audio format. Although the scheme was voluntary, some 70 per cent of applicants for the class of 2011 chose to record their essays rather than submit them in a text format, says Mae Jennifer Shores, admissions director. …

“The audio clips have been useful on a number of fronts, says Ms Shores: they show how well the applicants can communicate, how well they have grasped the use of English and how they perform under pressure. Also they demonstrate how creative students can be: some added music – either commercially produced or self-generated.

“It also enabled some students to demonstrate a sense of humour. “It was a joy for us,” says Ms Shores…

“Ms Shores says the Anderson school may choose to make the audio clips compulsory next year, or alternatively it may consider using video clips instead.”

MBA Studio’s take on this:

(1) If given the option of audio or video – Take It! You don’t need to overly interpret “it was a joy for us,” to know what their preference is. Not doing it is almost a red flag.

(2) In the original article the FT reporter also suggests the audio essay is a way of nulliflying the effect of admissions consultants. That’s poor reporting. Consultants can just as easily help applicants with communication in any media.

Responsible admissions advisors advise and edit and coach, like any advisor in any field. MBA Studio, for one, would never cross the line and prepare a candidates submission for them whether written, audio, or video.


Best MBA blog awards 2008-09

Clear Admit has released its 2008-2009 MBA blog awards see here. It is a good guide to what’s out there, particularly from MBA students and current MBA applicants. There’s some great on-the-ground advice in there, and lots of shoulders to cry on. Good stuff!

Top 10 Applicant Blogs
1. TienyChesney – mbaveggie.blogspot.com
2. D.G. – www.managingmagic.com
3. Ahembeea – trystwithmba.wordpress.com
4. MissionMBA – missionmba.wordpress.com
5. Soni – sonismbaadventure.blogspot.com
6. PaloAltoForAwhile – paloaltoforawhile.blogspot.com
7. Choc Heaven – dreamer-choc.blogspot.com
8. Helen – lifelessordinary.typepad.com/my_weblog
9. Samantha – bestmbablogever.blogspot.com
10. OMGParisHilton – omgmbaapps.blogspot.com

Most Entertaining Applicant Blog
OMGParisHilton – omgmbaapps.blogspot.com

Best GMAT Preparation Advice
Soni – sonismbaadventure.blogspot.com

Best School Selection Advice
Alex – pinchthebubble.blogspot.com

Best Essay Advice (tie)
MissionMBA – missionmba.wordpress.com
The Teacher – pulyanithinks.blogspot.com

Best Interview Advice (tie)
ChocHeaven – dreamer-choc.blogspot.com & D.G. – www.managingmagic.com

Best Single Post by an Applicant
Ahembeea: MBA Applications – Lessons from the journey

Top Ten Student Blogs
1. MaybeMBA – tombaornot.blogspot.com
2. JulyDream – julydream.blogspot.com
3. Paragon2Pieces – paragon2pieces.blogspot.com
4. Hairtwirler – mbajamey.blogspot.com
5. Iday – i4iday.blogspot.com
6. TinyDancer – tinydancermba.blogspot.com
7. CS – www.computersexy.com/blog
8. Andrew – www.andrewmchoi.com
9. Mandy – mandylozano.blogspot.com
10. M@ – speedywithchicken.wordpress.com

Most Entertaining Student Blog
July Dream – julydream.blogspot.com

Best Resource for Applicants
Iday – i4iday.blogspot.com

Best Job/Internship Advice
MaybeMBA – tombaornot.blogspot.com

Best Representation of Academics
MaybeMBA

Best Representation of Student Life
MaybeMBA

Best Single Post by a Student
MaybeMBA had a number of posts recognized, but Farewell was particularly popular.

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